Family Riding (Meeting Everyone There)

Feb 07, 2013 View Comments by

Family Riding By now you can tell from my other posts that I am a self proclaimed “Adventure Hermit,” someone who tends to ride alone. It is not to avoid people. In fact, like many of you who ride alone I tend to meet more people when I am by myself. However, as a husband and father of two great little girls, I like to travel with my family as well. So when the opportunities arise I love to involve my whole family in the adventure.

The challenge that many of us face is finding the time to ride. When you do find it you often have to make a choice between hitting the open road and spending time with your family. Families such as the Adventure Trio family have figured out how to combine family and riding. This Jupiter’s Traveller family straps their young son Jack in for their adventures behind father Terry. For those of us for whom this isn’t an option, I suggest caravan trips.

The first thing you need is a support vehicle. Okay, it might just be a family car, but support vehicle sounds much more exciting. If you and your spouse both ride you can switch off between riding and driving, or even tow a second bike behind the support vehicle. See, doesn’t “support vehicle” just sound more adventurous? I think so. This works great even if you are just pulling up to Best Westerns each night!

An alternative suggestion, brought forth by Adventure Hermit in training, my daughter Nya, is her design for a four-up riding motorcycle. She believes I should be able to build a motorcycle with two sidecars. One for her and one for her sister with a “spot on back for mommy.” I suggested that we might just look for a convertible, but I like the way she thinks!

Once on the road you can agree on meeting points. From there you can take detours along the way. I will often select an off-road option while the family sticks to the main road. We then get together later, enjoy a nice meal, and swap stories.

One such adventure began in October of 2007. I extended an invitation to my dad and his wife Helena. The idea was that he and I would ride somewhere. Helena would ride along with my wife Beth and our daughter Sophia and newborn Nya in our support vehicle. That was all we told them. They hesitated briefly, but then accepted and booked two plane tickets from Connecticut to Colorado.

When they arrived we fed them and gave them a bed for the night. The next morning we packed the support vehicle and mounted our bikes. I led our little crew out of the driveway with no more direction than “follow me!”

Passing through the expanses of Taylor Park we headed south on 285 before arriving in Alamosa. After indulging in great tamales we took turns on the hotel water slide before heading off to bed to dream of the next day’s journey.

We awoke and headed south. In less than an hour we reached the New Mexico border. After a quick photo opportunity, commemorating my dad’s first state line motorcycle crossing, we were again on our way. Still, they had no idea what the final destination was, or if there even was one.

At dinner that night, I informed everyone of our 4:30 a.m. wake up call for the morning. Everyone obliged and the next day we piled into the car and headed to Balloon Fiesta Park. It was then that my dad and Helena knew why we were in Albuquerque. It was the annual Balloon Fiesta. My dad had always talked about his enjoyment of seeing the occasional hot air balloon passing in the sky. He sometimes pulls off to the side of the road just to watch one float by.

Launch days are hit and miss based on many weather factors. Just like Colorado Mountain passes being blocked in July because of snow. This year, however, was as winner. The morning slowly transitioned from darkness into blue sky, but only for a moment. Minutes later the blue sky was dotted with all the colors of the rainbow. I loved watching the smiles on everyone’s faces, including my own. We cheered as each of the 600-plus balloons left the ground as we walked amongst them.

Our trip was a success. My dad and I were able to ride together. Our families were able to join us and we were all able to share in a wonderful experience without having to choose between riding and family time. With little guilt we had our cake and ate it too . . . and you can as well. Please take a moment to share your favorite family riding adventure below. Tell us about a time where you and your family chose not to go anywhere  . . . but instead went somewhere together!

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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!